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Space capabilities critical for security

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- A top U.S. Defense Department official said in order to counter modern terrorist threats, development of new capabilities in outer space is critical.

Peter Wegner, Defense Department Operationally Responsive Space Office director, said that the national security of the United States is increasingly dependent on military advancements deployed in space. Wegner said combating the evolving threat from terrorists would require the development of new space capabilities in shorter periods of time, the Defense Department reported.

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Officials say the Operationally Responsive Space Office, based in New Mexico, is working to advance satellite imagery, communications technologies and missile defense capabilities. Wegner said next-generation space architecture is critical to the military's situational awareness and tactical capabilities.

"I want to be able to give (soldiers) a picture of what's over the next hill 30 minutes before they ever get there," Wegner said in a statement.

"The demand for intelligence surveillance and for communication and situational awareness in space and on the ground is critical to commanders."

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